The Invention and Discovery of the "God Particle"


Title : The Invention and Discovery of the "God Particle" Author(s): Jim Baggott


Story of how the current standard model came into being, starting from Noether's theorem to the discovery of the Higgs boson. Emphasis is placed on the importance of Noether's theorem as it "offers a way of avoiding cconsiderable hit-and-miss theorizing", since the correspondence between conservation laws and symmetries means physicists now have to search for symmetries. The first part of the book talks about the theoretical approach, whereas the second part talked about the experimentalists' story.

Quick points

  • The inception of Schrodinger's wave equation and its relation to the periodicity implied by Weyl's Gauge theory and Bohr's quantized atomic orbits, and the wave particle duality proposed by de Broglie.
  • The problem of an electron's self-energy, resulting from its interaction with its own electromagnetic field, and its solution in the form of a renormalizable relativistic QED.
  • QED is a U(1) gauge theory where the local U(1) phase symmetry of the electron wavefunction is connected to the conservation of electric charge.
  • Yang-Mills and its prediction of massless particles - and the solution to this problem through spontaneous symmetry-breaking which allows particles to gain mass in what is called the Higgs mechanism.
  • Gerard t'Hooft proved that Yang-Mills gauge theories are in general renormalizable.


  • The mention of Tycho Brahe's astronomical data was interesting, since I feel it is a commonly omitted piece of how Newton's laws were introduced.
  • Can we learn about Stochastic Gradient Descent from the mathematics of spontaneous symmetry-breaking.

Author: Nazaal

Created: 2022-03-13 Sun 21:44